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Empath’s personal journal, January 1.

It is now the year 1007, a new year in the life of both this smurf and all the Smurfs that this smurf has come to know during this smurf’s lifetime thus far. We have entered the new year having experienced a reunion with all of this smurf’s parent Smurfs that turned out to be nothing more than an elaborate illusion designed with some intent on destroying the relationship Papa Smurf had forged with all the young Smurfs he had adopted over the past 102 years. And yet the reunion in itself had caused most of us to remember our loved ones in a way that mere memories alone couldn’t do, as a sort of living photograph of yesterday being brought into present time. For this smurf, it has given me the rare chance of meeting for the first time this smurf’s Mama Smurf, even if she herself was just part of the same illusion. Interestingly enough, though their departure was actually the effects of the Auld Lang Syne Spell fully wearing off, it felt more like the type of goodbye that this smurf, Papa Smurf, and most of this smurf’s fellow Smurfs have always wanted to see and say. They will no longer be with us physically, but in spirit they will always be a part of us.

This experience has also helped the village reforge that relationship Papa Smurf had made with his little Smurfs, that despite whatever happens or has happened, my Papa Smurf will always be OUR Papa Smurf, now and forever.


In Tapper’s tavern, following the tolling of the midnight hour and the Auld Lang Syne Spell effects fully wearing off, Papa Smurf and all his little Smurfs as well as Polaris Psyche made a toast in honor of the loved ones whose memories had been made real for a short time before they vanished into the night. Everyone except the Smurflings, Baby Smurf, and Polaris Psyche were given a glass of sarsaparilla ale to make the toast.

“To the new year, my little Smurfs, and whatever may smurf ahead for us,” Papa Smurf announced as he raised his glass. “The village may have been smurfed topsy-turvy for a while, but here we are together again as family – the family that all your parent Smurfs would have wanted us to smurf together as. May their lives smurf as reminders of where we have been over the years, and as inspiration for the years to smurf.”

“And to Papa Smurf,” Empath added, raising his glass, “the one Smurf who was given the difficult task of raising this new family together for years all by himself, and has passed the test with flying colors, even bringing in new members into this family. May he continue to be the one Smurf that we can all proudly call without any shame ‘Papa Smurf.’”

“Here, here,” all of the other Smurfs said in unison as they raised their glasses and drank to the toasts. Baby Smurf drank his toast with smurfberry juice, while Polaris and the Smurflings did the same with their seltzers.

“There’s just one problem this smurf would like to address, my fellow Smurfs,” Empath continued. “Yesterday, Papa Smurf had officially stepped down from his role as the village leader, even putting an end to this particular office, and now that we’re in the start of the new year, this smurf would like to propose that this office be reinstated immediately with some Smurf who’s willing and able and well-qualified to take on this role of village leader.”

Hefty In Sweater Flexing

“Sounds like a smurfy idea to me, Empath,” Hefty responded. “But who do you smurf in mind for this role?”

“Well, I for one would like to suggest someone who’s already smurfect for the job,” Brainy suggested.

“Oh, great,” Snappy groaned. “Brainy’s going to nominate himsmurf into the role.”

“Let me finish, Snappy,” Brainy objected. “Though it pains me very much to be this humble, the one Smurf I have in mind is the very Smurf who’s already smurfed us through his years of experience, as both a village leader, and as a father figure, that he’s more than qualified to meet this smurfticular task. And so, without further ado, I would like to nominate as candidate for the role of village leader – the one and only Papa Smurf!”

“Papa Smurf as our new village leader,” Empath pondered. “Certainly an excellent choice. Anyone who approves of this action, please raise your hand.”

The entire Smurf population raised their hands very emphatically, including Polaris Psyche.

“And anyone who’s opposed to this action?”

“I hate…” Grouchy began to say out of reflex before thinking it over, and then finished, “not seeing Papa Smurf be chosen as our new village leader.”

“Anyone else?” Empath asked.

There were no takers.

“Well, this smurf can see that the votes are unanimous,” Empath concluded. He then turned to Papa Smurf. “As a representative of the entire Smurf community, we, your little Smurfs, officially reinstate you, Papa Smurf – our Papa Smurf – into the role as our village leader, effective immediately, with all the rights and privileges that attend this office. Welcome back, Papa Smurf!” He gave the village leader a hug.

Every Smurf in the tavern cheered as Papa Smurf nodded in acceptance to his reinstatement.

“Thank you all, my little Smurfs,” Papa Smurf said with some honest heartfelt emotion. “I truly don’t desmurf to be back where I belong among you as the village leader, but I will always be there for all of you – as your Papa Smurf, from now until my time in this life is smurfed.”

“Well, now that you are officially reinsmurfed as our village leader, Papa Smurf,” Brainy interjected, “I was just wondering if you could officially reinsmurf me as your sorceror’s apprentice, now that the position’s open.”

“Gee, Brainy, that’s something I’ll have to think about,” Papa Smurf answered, stroking his beard and making Brainy think he was actually putting a lot of thought into thinking about his request. “You did smurf me your resmurfnation notice, smurfing that you have no intention of ever resmurfing to the apprenticeship.”

“You mean you wouldn’t smurf me back after that?” Brainy asked, shocked to think of that possibility.

Papa Smurf chuckled at Brainy’s expression, though not insultingly. “Of course I will smurf you back, Brainy. I smurfed that position open just in case you ever smurfed a change of mind. Smurfing tomorrow – or should I smurf, in the morning – I would love to hear all your solutions to the problems I’ve been smurfing with my experiments. You think you’re up to the task?”

“Why, certainly, Papa Smurf,” Brainy answered enthusiastically, overjoyed to hear Papa Smurf want to take him back as his apprentice. “I for one will surely not disappoint you, not after all that you smurfed with me and for me.”

Papa Smurf put his hand on Brainy’s shoulder. “It’s so good to smurf you back…my son.”

Brainy never heard Papa Smurf call him that before. And from that point on, he felt like he was never going to forget it.


After Papa Smurf's reinstatement as the village leader, Tapper and Duncan were again talking among themselves about what had happened over the past few days.

"To think that this whole resurrection thing was just somebody smurfing a spell on us because they wanted us dead," Duncan said. "I could only wonder who would smurf such a thing."

"I have a feeling in my spirit that this could be the work of that witch Chlorhydris, my friend," Tapper said. "If she wanted to make the world feel just as miserable as she does, her plan for smurfing so with this spell is perhaps the most curious method of all."

"Aye, that's one thing I'll never understand of that evil witch, Tapper," Duncan said. "It was very strange how they were smurfing the whole time we thought that they were alive, and yet Smurfette, Polaris, the Smurflings, and Baby were the only ones who noticed what was smurfing on."

"But now that the spell is broken and that we're still alive after what could have happened, do you still long for the days of yesteryear to return, Duncan?" Tapper asked.

"Honestly, I feel more smurfier now than I did back when we were just getting used to Empath's Papa Smurf being our Papa Smurf, laddie," Duncan said. "That doesn't mean that I won't miss my Papa and my Mama, but what it does mean is that I now know for sure who my family really is and that they'll always be there for me no matter what."

"Aye, that is very true, and since we are family, you'll always be my brother," Tapper said. "A toast to family for all generations -- past, present, and future."

"I second that emotion, laddie," Duncan said as he raised up his glass of sarsaparilla ale and clinked it with Tapper's before they drank together.


Meanwhile, Empath and Smurfette were sharing a dance together in the tavern as some Smurf thought to put on music from the record machine to celebrate the new year with.

“So how does it feel to have the damsel Smurf be the one to smurf to your rescue for a change, Empath?” Smurfette asked playfully.

“If you do the job often enough, Smurfette, this smurf may begin to like it a whole lot better,” Empath answered. “Of course, this smurf does wonder at times how you would look in a cape and a costume.”

“I may not smurf in your league as a superhero, but I can still smurf a few things that your minds-eye can’t,” Smurfette remarked.

“Like wrap a golden lasso around this smurf and force this smurf to tell the truth?” Empath asked humorously.

“I just might, if you’re trying to smurf something from me, Empath,” Smurfette answered in jest, laughing with Empath at her own response. “Anyway, I’m sorry about your Mama Smurf having to smurf away from you like that, even if you were under a spell that made you smurf that your Mama Smurf smurfed back to life.”

“This smurf understands, Smurfette,” Empath said. “For the brief time we’ve had together, even if it wasn’t real, she made this smurf feel that she had truly loved me as much as she loved Papa Smurf.”

“But now Papa Smurf is all alone again with us for his family,” Smurfette commented.

“As long as we have each other, Smurfette, none of us will ever be alone,” Empath reminded her. “You’re just as special to this family as any other Smurf this smurf has known.”

“And don’t forget Polaris Psyche, your friend,” Smurfette added. “He’s part of this family, too.”

“Always and forever,” Empath agreed as he and Smurfette kissed each other.


The following morning, as the Smurflings were busy building a bigger and better snow fortress outside their treestump playhouse, they were listening to Reporter on their portable radio device, giving the latest inside village news on Spinner's talk show program. "Smurf has it that Actor's plans for smurfing a movie using the Imaginarium is all smurf to go, with Papa Smurf smurfing the green light on the project," he announced. "What the actual story of the movie will be about is not yet smurfed in stone, though Actor hints that it may be an outer-smurf adventure that's sure to be a smurf-office hit when it may finally smurf on the big screen this smurfing summer. One thing's for sure — Greedy will be hard-smurfed to smurf up all the popcorn he can smurf, because Actor promises that this movie is going to smurf really big!"

"I knew it!" Snappy said as Reporter ended his announcement. "I knew Actor was going to smurf up an action movie! I wonder how Brainy feels about that, since he was smurfing for 'Romeo And Smurfette'!"

"I just hope this movie smurfs with a cartoon feature," Slouchy jested. "That is, if Painter is going to smurf a cartoon feature to smurf with this movie."

"I was smurfonally hoping for 'The Adventures Of Tarsmurf'," Nat mentioned.

"I would have wanted to smurf 'The Wonderful Wizard Of Smurf'," Sassette contributed. "Just like in that dream the four of us smurfed together that night, with me as Dorothy, Nat as the Smurfcrow, Slouchy as the Tin Woodsmurf, and Snappy as the Cowardly Lion, smurfing off Gargamel as the Wicked Witch Of The West."

"That was a smurfally dumb dream!" Snappy commented. "The next time we ever get smurfed in a dream together, I hope I get to smurf the hero — like maybe the one in this movie Actor's smurfing up."

"By the way, Sassy, how was smurfing your own Papa Smurf for the first time in years, even if it was just an illusion?" Slouchy asked.

Sassette sighed. "It was okay for a while, I guess, but the more I smurfed around with him, the more I wanted to smurf time with Pappy — the one who smurfed me out of the crystal I was smurfed in. I think I'm much better off nowadays smurfing my time with you Smurflings than trying to smurf back to how it was before you three even smurfed along."

"We missed having you smurf around with us as well, Sassette," Nat admitted. "I don't think we could really smurf ourselves as the Smurflings if it wasn't for you being a part of us."

Just then, Snappy felt a snowball hit him in the back of his head. "Hey, who the smurf did that?" he asked, suspicious of his three playmates until he saw they were looking at someone casually passing by behind him.

Snappy took a look behind him and saw that it was Polaris Psyche passing by. He looked as if he was just simply minding his own business, doing his usual daily security rounds. But Snappy had a feeling Polaris wasn't all that innocent.

"Let's see him react to this and smurf how he likes it," Snappy said as he formed a snowball in his hand, ready to throw it at Polaris.

"Snappy, you're going to smurf yourself into trouble," Sassette warned him.

"That's Empath's friend," Slouchy hinted with a don't-say-I-didn't-warn-you type of voice. "He smurfs out what you smurfed to him, you'll be in really deep smurf than anything else you smurfed on anybody."

"No Smurf, not even Polaris, smurfs away with smurfing me in the back of the head with a snowball," Snappy persisted, not caring about the consequences of his actions.

Snappy hurled the snowball as fast and as hard as he could toward Polaris, watching to see how he would react. But before the snowball even reached Polaris, it stopped in midair and then flew in the opposite direction right back toward Snappy, hitting him in the face. The other Smurflings laughed as Snappy wiped his face of the snow covering it.

"All right, that does it," Snappy stated with a sour look. "Polaris is truly going to smurf it!"


Empath was with Smurfette walking around the village, watching their fellow Smurfs getting back to life as usual, when they saw Polaris Psyche engaging in a snowball fight with the Smurflings. To Empath's surprise, he sensed that his friend was actually having fun playing with the Smurflings, even though there was no expression on Polaris' face that indicated this.

Smurfette laughed at the sight. "Smurfs like Polaris is becoming more like part of the family, Empath."

Empath nodded in agreement. "This smurf told him all about the fun this smurf had having snowfights with this smurf's fellow Smurfs, Smurfette. To see him finally engage in something he could only imagine doing himself in his younger years, and with a group of Smurfs at that age, makes this smurf feel glad that he's embracing the Smurf way of living."

"Polaris smurftainly had an excellent teacher of the Smurf way of living, I can smurf that," Smurfette commented. "So when do I get to smurf with this 'precious gift' of your Mama Smurf?" She looked at Empath with a suggestive kind of look.

"You sure you don't want to wait until we get married to enjoy that gift, Smurfette?" Empath asked. "This smurf isn't sure that enjoying it now would be a good idea, no matter how tempting it may be for us being that close with each other."

"I can wait as long as you can, Empath," Smurfette responded. "I'm just eager to smurf what the new year we're in has in smurf for us, whether we'll finally smurf the knot together or just stay smurfing friends with each other for another year."

"Even if this smurf could tell you the future of what's going to happen to us, Smurfette, this smurf would still rather take one day at a time and let each day be a surprise for the both of us," Empath declared.

Smurfette sighed, realizing that Empath was right. "Guess some gifts are better off smurfing for the right moment to open."

They continued to walk on like that for the rest of the day, waiting to let tomorrow come when it did.

THE END

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